Sarah Wildes

Sarah Wildes (1627-1692) was tried and hung for being a witch during the Salem Witch Trials.

    She married John Wildes a few months after his first wife died, and though Sarah was a devoted step-mother to his eight children, some members of his first wife's family appeared to hold a grudge against her for marrying John so quickly and were her initial accusers.

From her Wikipedia page:

       Sarah had a reputation as a nonconformist in Puritan Massachusetts, with prior offenses which may have made her an easy target for accusations of witchcraft. She was considered glamorous and forward as a young woman. She was sentenced to be whipped for fornication with Thomas Wordell in November 1649, and later, in May of 1663, charged with wearing a silk scarf. (In the song I changed the scarf to a too-tight dress).

After the 2016 election I wanted to learn about times in our history when large groups of people became irrational. That lead me to the Salem Witch Trials and Sarah Wildes.

More links:

http://www.womenhistoryblog.com/2008/05/sarah-averill-wildes.html

https://historyofmassachusetts.org/sarah-wildes/

https://www.legendsofamerica.com/ma-witches-u-z/2/

 The Salem Witch Trials:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/a-brief-history-of-the-salem-witch-trials-175162489/

https://www.history.com/topics/colonial-america/salem-witch-trials     

https://www.salemweb.com/guide/witches.php

 

Trivia: the original cover for 13 Women included a noose to represent Sarah Wildes. You can see the remnants of it in the banner shot at the top.